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A Wedding of Holy Matrimony – The Citizen.com

4 minutes, 42 seconds Read

The people. The place. The purpose.

The people. One of our nephews called us around Easter of this year to tell us that he was getting married. In fact, the call was a FaceTime call and we got to see and meet his fiance as they called us from Texas. We shared in their good news and wished them congratulations and pronounced God’s blessings upon them.

They told us the date would be the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, they acknowledged that it was quite short notice, and they hoped we could come but would understand if we could not. We resolved to get to Texas for the wedding and to help our immediate family of our three married children, their spouses, and our eight grandkids to get there as well.

As it turned out, not only did all of our immediate family make the trip, but the families of my wife’s four sisters and a brother made their efforts to come, and a total of 67 family members showed up in full force to celebrate the day with our nephew and his bride.

The travel stories were filled with flight delays, flight cancellations, tornado warnings, and heroic efforts to get there “heck or high water,” so we were extremely thankful that we all made it.

What loving and dedicated people we are blessed with in our family.

The place. The place was Austin, Texas, but much more importantly the place was the church where the wedding service was held. This church sits in a very crowded and congested area near the campus of The University of Texas. However, it is a beautiful and majestic cathedral style church building, very well maintained both inside and out.

The building is built with Texas limestone, as are most of the buildings in that area of Central Texas. It’s gorgeous. The striking features include the stained glass windows down both sides and the very large stained glass windows up and behind the high altar. Each window tells a portion of the story of our Biblical faith and our Lutheran heritage.

We were taken and impressed as we remembered that the reason for the beauty and majesty of churches and cathedrals has always been to bring us into the glory and grandeur of God Himself. This is God’s House, His dwelling place. When we come into His House we enter His special presence. Collectively, the permanency of the structure and the beauty of the decor and the size and height all give us a special communion with God, a sense of heaven here on earth.

What an inspiring place in which to gather and worship.

Now, the purpose. The purpose was, of course, to have a worship service in which a man and a woman, by God’s divine and perfect plan, would be joined as one in the blessed estate of Holy Matrimony, or Holy Marriage for the rest of their lives.

In the opening proclamation by the pastor, we heard the words from the liturgy for Marriage, “In marriage we see a picture of the communion between Christ and His bride, the Church.” This is how sacred marriage is both in the sight of God and in our understanding of it here and now. It is sacred, holy, precious, and prescribed by God as the union of one man and one woman.

The service included the traditional question to each the groom and the bride. The groom was asked, “Will you have this woman to be your wedded wife, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony as God ordained? Will you nourish and cherish her as Christ loved His body, the Church, giving Himself up for her? Will you love, honor, and keep her in sickness and in health and, forsaking all others, remain united to her alone, as long as you both shall live?”

The groom answered enthusiastically, “I will.” The bride was asked the same about the groom, and answered the same as the groom.

The bride and groom spoke their vows to each other. The bride vowed to the groom, “I take you to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy will; and I pledge to you my faithfulness.” The groom vowed the same to the bride.

The pastor pronounced them “husband and wife, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

Of course, the service had a great deal of beautiful music, prayers, Scripture, and even hymns.

What a great purpose for a bride and a groom and for all those gathered around them. How God-pleasing.

I close with my prayer for all young people. I pray that God would give you the power to honor the “estate of Holy Matrimony.” I pray God will bless your marriage as a life-long commitment between one man and one woman. I pray God will show you and lead you in His plan. This even is God’s plan and will for the heart of our society, our culture, and our lives together as a nation.

God’s way is a great way to live. Amen!

[Dr. Kollmeyer, a thirty-seven year resident of Fayette County, is a retired Lutheran pastor. He offers his preaching and teaching pastoral ministry to any church or group seeking or needing a Christ centered, Biblically based, and traditionally grounded sermon or teaching. Reach him at [email protected].]

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